For Birth Parents & Birth Siblings

Information & Forms for Ohio’s Adoption Records Law

If the child you placed for adoption was born in Ohio, the Ohio Department of Health keeps a record of your child’s birth and adoption. This vital statistics file includes the original birth certificate that was issued when the child was born to you. Adult adoptees have different levels of access to their file depending on the year that their adoption was finalized. You have the ability to submit preferences and add information to your child’s file regarding your desire for contact, your current contact information and your medical history. The forms birthparents need to submit their preferences are available through the Ohio Department of Health website and are linked below.

Adoptions Finalized Before 1/1/1964

Adoptees of this era already have access to their files upon request. You may use the Contact Preference Form for the Birthparents of Adopted Children form to share your preferences for contact.

Adoptions Finalized 1/1/1964- 9/17/1996

The new adoption law allows adoptees of this era to start requesting their Vital Stats files on March 20, 2015. It also creates new forms for birthparents to communicate their desire for contact and to share family medical history with their child. Submit your forms before March 20, 2015 to make sure your preferences are included in the adoption file before the adoptee request window opens. ODH has created a birthparent packet with all the forms for birthparents of this era.

  • Submit the Contact Preference for the Birthparents of Adopted Children form (JFS 01684) to let your child know your preferences for contact, should your child request their file. This form has three options to choose from: Option 1 (birthparent would like to be contacted directly and provides their current contact information); Option 2 (birthparent would like to be contacted indirectly through an intermediary and provides the contact information for a trusted friend or relative); Option 3 (birthparent does not want to be contacted at this time and provides no contact information).
  • Submit the Social and Medical History Form (JFS 01616) to include your updated family medical information in your child’s file. This is optional for birthparents submitting a Contact Preference Form, but mandatory for birthparents submitting a Name Redaction form.
  • Submit the Birthparent Name Redaction Form (JFS 01683) to have your name removed from the copy of the original birth certificate released to your child, should they request their file. The last day to submit this form is March 19th, 2015. An updated Social and Medical History form is required. NOTE: Ohio Birthparent Group suggests that birthparents who do not want to be contacted file the Contact Preference Form instead of the redaction form. The internet makes it possible to search and locate lost relatives without the use of government documents like the Vital Stats file. As such, submission of the redaction form does not protect birthparents from being identified. We believe that the Contact Preference form is a more direct and effective way of communicating your preferences for contact.

Birthparents AND Birth Siblings can submit an Application for Release of Adopted Name (HEA 3039) to find out the adopted name of the child that was placed for adoption. The name will be released if the adopted person has filed an authorization allowing ODH to share their name with you.

Adoptions Finalized On or After 9/18/1996

Adoptees of this era who are age 18 or older can already request their adoption file, provided that you signed a release at the time of adoption. To make sure that your forms are filed before your child’s request window opens, it’s a good idea to submit the following forms BEFORE your child turns 18.

  • If you did not sign a release or are unsure of the things your signed at the time of adoption, file an Authorization of Release Form for Biological Parents (HEA 3035) to make sure your child will have access to their file.
  • File the Contact Preference Form for the Birthparents of Adopted Persons and the Social and Medical History Form (see above) to provide your updated contact information and family medical history.

Birthparents AND Birth Siblings can submit an Application for Release of Adopted Name (HEA 3039) to find out the adopted name of the child that was placed for adoption. The name will be released if the adopted person has filed an authorization allowing ODH to share their name with you.